The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2003 approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, an arrest rate of 1 for every 135 licensed drivers in the United States.As of 2004, 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had enacted laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. In 2004, there were 16,694 fatalities in alcohol- related vehicle crashes; 14,408 or 86 percent occurred in crashes where at least one driver had a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher. Illegal substances such as marijuana and cocaine, often used in combination with alcohol, are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths. (NHTSA: Traffic Safety Facts 2004: Alcohol).
Leo Sher, M.D.